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Villama Preview: Aston Villa v Newcastle United

Following victory over Nottingham Forest and a fourth straight three points, Aston Villa take on red-hot Newcastle United. Will injuries derail the Villa, or will another three points be in line?

The build-up...

Twelve straight points and without a loss since Arsenal in February, Aston Villa are as good as they’ve been in years. You could arguably say the same for Newcastle United, our momentary foes for the weekend.

The Northerners are winners of five straight and, like Villa, haven’t shown any signs of slowing down. Over the last three, which include a 2-1 win at Tech Community Stadium over Brentford, a 5-1 throttling of West Ham United at the London Stadium, and a 2-0 blanking of Manchester United at St. James’ Park.

Players to look out for include Alexander Isak at striker, Kieran Trippier at right-back, Joelinton upfield, and Bruno Guimaraes in midfield.

The line-up...

This week, Villa are once again missing key midfielder Boubacar Kamara. The solutions, just as last week, are to play either John McGinn or Leander Dendoncker (or Calum Chambers for that matter) in Kamara’s spot. Playing a more defensive player makes sense, but I’m ever so slightly leaning towards consistency and playing the best eleven available. If things get wacky, you can always move McGinn over to the right and bring on Dendoncker.

In goal, Emi Martinez will start with Alex Moreno at left-back, a Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konza center-back partnership, and Ashley Young in for an injured Matty Cash at right-back. In midfield, Douglas Luiz and John McGinn feature in the middle, with Jacob Ramsey further up and to the left, with Bertrand Traore on the right. Ollie Watkins starts at striker and Emi Buendia plays in the number 10 position. You could also go with a 4-4-2 by swapping Traore and Buendia.

Score prediction...

It’s going to be a tough task and I do think Villa are up to it, but it’s just shy of three points. In a matchup that is sure to be more and more significant in years to come, this one ends up a draw; 2-2 and a point for Villa on the day.

Aston Villa Training and Press Conference
Can John McGinn continue his impressive form against Eddie Howe’s ever-rising Newcastle squad?
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images